A great base to any pasta sauce, soup or stew; Canned Stewed Tomatoes is an inventive way to jazz up baked chicken or broiled seafood!
What are Canned Stewed Tomatoes?
Canned Stewed Tomatoes is an additive type of recipe. They’re great added to soups and stews, and a great replacement for ketchup in a meatloaf recipe. Stewed tomatoes are best used in dishes that require either larger chunks of cooked tomato, such as pot roast, or foods that require longer cooking times, such as stew and chili. In essence, Canned Stewed Tomatoes are a condiment of sorts.
Having Canned Stewed Tomatoes on hand eliminates the need to chop onions, celery, and green bell peppers when starting to prepare many of your favourite dishes. When all is said and done, having jars of stewed tomatoes in your pantry will save you lots of prep time later on. The aromatic flavours of the onion and the celery are still present and preserved perfectly in individual use jars.
Why Should I prepare Canned Stewed Tomatoes at Home?
You can easily find already prepared stewed tomatoes in the canned vegetable section of most local grocery stores, but the taste of homemade Canned Stewed Tomatoes is much better. When you make your own, you get to control the sodium levels and also, you can eliminate the use of chemicals and preservatives found in the store-bought variety.
I find that most of the brands of stewed tomatoes you can buy at the store are okay in a pinch, and I do use them from time to time, but there’s one thing particularly that I don’t like about them. Most of the brands leave the skin on the tomatoes. I don’t know about you, but I do not care for cooked tomato skins.
The skin doesn’t break down very well at all, and if you get a fair sized piece of it, you’re left with this weird, chewy bit that’s hard to swallow. And, like I said, if you take the time to prepare the stewed tomatoes now, you’ll save yourself time and energy when preparing meals later!
How Can I Use my Canned Stewed Tomatoes?
I’m glad you asked! Think of stewed tomatoes as a base for many of the recipes you already prepare. You can use stewed tomatoes to start a dish, or you can add them to a dish to complement and enhance flavours as you cook. I’ve already mentioned adding stewed tomatoes to soup and chili recipes, but there’s so much more that you can do with them.
Pour a jar into a sauce pan and over medium heat, allow the stewed tomatoes to simmer away, stirring occasionally, until the tomato mixture thickens and reduces. Once the mixture is thick, allow to cool and you have a great pizza sauce ready to go! Another great way to use stewed tomatoes is to use them instead of water when cooking rice. This works best with instant rice.
Canned Stewed Tomatoes is a great substitute for canned Manwich too. Just brown the ground beef, pour in the stewed tomatoes and simmer until all heated through. Taste for seasoning and pile high onto fresh burger buns. (I like cheese on mine too, but it’s completely optional!) Oh, and if you’re preparing a pot of Bolognese, be sure to had a few cups of stewed tomatoes – so good!
Simmering types of recipes work very well with Canned Stewed Tomatoes. Use stewed tomatoes in recipes such as Chicken Cacciatore, or in combination with broth when preparing a risotto. And, always think about adding a jar of sauce to any roast pork, roast beef, or roast chicken dish. It’s delicious every time!
Lastly, like all of the canning recipes I’ve published so far, Canned Stewed Tomatoes uses only the water bath canning method. This is a great recipe for a rainy Saturday afternoon when all you want to do is stay inside. You can find more water bath canning recipe ideas on my Preserves and Pickles page.
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Canned Stewed Tomatoes
- 8 500 ml mason jars with screw bands and new, unused sealing discs.
- Water Bath Canner with Jar Rack
- Jar Wrench/Lifter
- Canning Funnel
- Non-metallic Bubble Remover
- Magnetic Lid Lifter
- 24 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes, (measured after being chopped – about 30 medium-sized tomatoes, see instructions below for easy peeling)
- 2 cups finely chopped celery, (measured after being chopped)
- 2 cups finely chopped onion, (measured after being chopped)
- 2 cups finely chopped green bell pepper, (measured after being chopped)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 3 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
To Prepare Mason Jars:
- Wash mason jars and screw lids in soapy water and rinse soap off well under running hot water. Place clean jars on a baking sheet and place in oven preheated to 200 degrees. Set screw bands aside. Next, boil a kettle of water and pour into a clean glass bowl. Carefully submerge the sealing discs in the bowl of hot water. Set aside.
- To peel the tomatoes, start by bringing a small pot of water to a full boil. Next, just slightly score the bottom of each tomato making an X with your knife. Don't cut too deep – the point is to just slice the skin. Next, place a bowl of ice water in your sink. Once the water comes to a full boil, carefully drop about four tomatoes into the hot water for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes and place directly into the ice water. Place four more tomatoes into the hot water. Continue to do this until all tomatoes are done. You will notice that the bottom of each tomato has opened up. You can now use your finger to peel the skin off, placing the peeled tomato into a clean bowl. Once done, chop the tomatoes, removing and discarding the core.
- Place the chopped tomatoes and all of the other ingredients into a large sauce pan or pot. Bring to a full boil over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring often.
- In the meantime, fill your water bath canner to the halfway mark with water and add the jar rack. Bring to a full boil.
- Ladle the stewed tomatoes into prepared mason jars using a funnel to prevent the mixture from touching the rim of the jars.
- Use the non-metallic bubble remover to remove any air bubbles.
- Wipe down the rim of each jar with a damp paper towel to ensure none of the stewed tomatoes has come in contact with the rim.
- Carefully remove the sealing discs from the hot water with a magnetic lid lifter. Position the sealing disc directly onto the lid of the jars. Do not touch the underside of the lid.
- Screw on the screw bands until firm – do not apply pressure! Just use your fingertips to tighten the screw bands.
- Using the jar lifter, place the jars into the water bath canner with the boiling water. Do not place the lid on the canner.
- Boil for 20 minutes. Carefully remove each jar from the canner using the jar lifter. Try not to tilt the jars. Place jars onto a wire cooling rack that has been covered with a clean kitchen towel.
- Leave the jars to cool for a minimum of 12 hours. Once cooled, wipe the jars of any residue that might have been transferred to the outside of the jar during the boiling process. Label the jars and store in a dark, cool cabinet for up to one year.
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